Hills Iowa Spring Classic 2014 + General Update

I'm continuing to avoid many, many foods.  At this point I believe the two most likely culprits are certain sugars and gluten.  The list that I will continue to avoid is long though and I'm not sure when I will feel ready or comfortable to begin trying to re-diversity my diet.  I've gotten stronger every day I've been on my bike since beginning the new diet.

The weather folks were calling for a good sized snow storm late last week, and Iowa started calling my name.  I got into a great 5 man team for the Gent's ride down in Des Moines Saturday.  We rode 68 miles at a comfortable pace with plenty of conversation and even a couple of sit down stops.  It feels pretty good after a long winter to be able to sit down on your butt mid ride in the gravel and just take in the world.  Here are a couple of pictures from the Gent's 'race'.

Almost immediately after the Gent's race I took off.  I wish I had been able to stick around and see a lot of people there and hang out in the bar.  The problem was that I knew I needed to get some food in me asap after 5+ hours on the bike and to do that effectively meant finding something I could eat!  Burger's without buns are potentially on my menu, but I've yet to go that route.  It just sounds terrible for some reason.  Plus I can't eat most steak sauce, BBQ etc..  Anyways, we took off and found some food I could eat and then made our way to Iowa City.

We went for a hike at Sugar Bottoms.  I try to make it out there every time I am in the area and it never disappoints.  The dogs had a lot of fun running there too!  I also learned some interesting history about Ding Darling.  As a kid we used to go to Sanibel Island almost every year and I never had any idea there was a link between Sugar Bottoms and Ding Darling.  He is quite interesting.

Late dinner at Monica's was a no-brainer as it was within walking distance of our hotel and they are very conscious of what they put in their food.  The gluten free cheesecake and dinner rolls made my night.  About half way through dinner we noticed flashing lights down the street.  After dinner I wanted to go get some snacks at Walgreen's so we walked down that way to find this!

It was nice to be able to sleep in before one of the Iowa Spring Classic races rather than having to wake up at 6:30 to get to a noon race start.  Two of my friends had come down from Rochester too and I was really looking forward to the race.  Then I started looking around at all the fast guys I knew and noticing how many of them had on matching kits.  I told Lew it was going to be a tough day out there, very fast at the least!  Especially for this time of year.  I won on this course last year and, of course, I wanted to try to win again!  I think that mentally having won previously gave me a bit of an edge.  It freed me to make an aggressive plan and to not worry about the potential consequences of riding very hard on new found "fitness" (fitness isn't the right word-  but there isn't really a word for 'lack of poisoning or something which allows one to attempt to compete hard').  Anyways, I knew I would have to ride very aggressively and I was able to do so.  It felt really, really good to be able to do so after so many cx races last fall, Triple D, CIRREM etc. etc. where it just wasn't there.  Heck, where I was unable to feel like I was even pushing myself and competing for more than 2-3 minutes a lot of the time.

Here is my bike.  There were some other pictures taken at the race but I don't have permission to post them.  Plus I'm pretty much drafting as many people as possible in all of them, heh.  Note my 'gravel' seatpost (google gravel seatpost if you don't find that funny).

Yesterday, though, the miles and laps piled on and a combination of my attacks, people flatting out and luck reduced the size of the group quickly.  About halfway through the race there were 6 people in a lead group with 4 of them being riders from the same team.  They sent a very strong/big guy up the road on the flat, paved, downwind section of the course.  I tried to jump across to him and just wound up dangling 100 yards back and 200 yards in front of the remaining 4.  Eventually he rode away and I accepted my fate.  I sat in for a while and waited.  Figuring the one guy was gone and that the remaining teammates would make it hard to compete for second.  I attacked them hoping to split them up before they could make it harder for me and only managed to drop the one remaining rider not from their team.  This worked out really well because then they took some pulls and we rotated as they wanted to keep that guy out of the race.  Partly due to their help though we were only about 45 seconds down on the solo leader with 1.5 laps to go and I could see he was struggling on the hills.  I went all in on the last climb of the lap, caught the solo leader within about 2 miles on the back stretch of the course where he had ridden away from me previously and then pressed on with him on my wheel.   I knew he would be a passenger and just rode tempo to try to make sure the other people couldn't come across, then repeated the same attack on the very last climb and jumped cleanly away.  It was emotional for me to ride that back stretch knowing that I was going to win a bike race.  My friends have been saying all along that I would be fine, but I have definitely faced the possibility of never feeling that strong on the bike again and it wasn't a feeling I wanted to make peace with.


Lakeville Milltown Lakeville

I was thinking about waiting for pictures to post a recap, but I don't think I'm going to feature real prominently in any.  I spent most the day following wheels as hidden as I could get.  I know I am weak, but at the same time I'm feeling so much better than just two weeks ago I can hardly believe it.  I've gone on a very strict diet.  Eating primarily of almond snickers (seriously one of the very few snack foods that seem 'safe' for whatever reason), pork, steak, chicken, potatoes and corn meal.  I started it on the 20th and felt so good by the 22nd that I went and raced aggressively on the road in Iowa.

So, I was feeling better for about a week then found myself trying to defend my title from last year...  and riding "as if" and I wasn't dropped at mile 12 (like CIRREM).  Then I wasn't dropped at mile 30.  Then I realized I felt pretty normal.  Then somewhere around mile 50 I started getting real real tired, but I was able to hang in there at the front.  I found myself in a group of 5 and was forced to get out in the wind some, but I didn't blow up.  Then I found myself in a group of 3 and I really was forced to rotate. It hurt, but I knew the other two riders were really strong and I was so happy to be there.  I attacked on the last hill out of fear of anyone else attacking and the legs felt pretty good but it was covered well.  I knew we were going to the finish line together then.  I tried to jump the sprint as I saw an opening and knew I was likely the weakest and it didn't work.

Later we found out that we had short cut the course a bit accidentally.  We had missed an out and back climb!  The riders who rode the whole course were, therefore, the first real finishers.  We had known it was out there and had actually talked about how it must have been missed while riding.  We had though it was about 10 miles from the checkpoint and therefore the entire large lead group had missed it before any splitting? But it turned out we were wrong.  Such is gravel racing.

I was very pleased with how I was able to ride.  I hope that if I stay on this path diet wise that I'll be able to make something of the next couple of months.  It's nice to be a bit "fresher" than normal I suppose.  

I have some suspicions about what the diet issue is yet, but plan to hold the line with the diet for the full 8 weeks regardless.  I do not want to mess up feeling better.

Batman seatpost

This has to be some of dumbest cycling related crap I've read in a while but I bet you can guess what image they used to get people to click on it....  yup, a BATMAN SEATPOST!


my ultimate trek 720 multitrack

I still love this thing!

A lot has changed since I first built this bike and some of those changes have meant that the parts are "trickling down" off of my 'race' bikes are a bit ridiculous.  However, a lot of them are too worn cosmetically to sell for a fair price and others may as well get used rather than just sitting around the garage until they perennially get the nod for the gravel conspiracy.

Anyways, here goes-

1999 58cm trek 720 with a 1" winwood/nashbar carbon disc fork 

dt240/zipp 404 wheelset-  built by a famous wheel builder in CO, possibly finished tour divide multiple times in the early years of the event.  Ridden by me over 5k miles after repairing a spoke that pulled through.  

Shimano 10 speed drivetrain with 105 shifters, ultegra rear derailleur, slx front derailleur, 32/44 sram noir carbon crankset.

Random nice cockpit parts.

Might be the bike I'd keep if I could just have one and I originally purchased it for $30.


"new" drivetrain tech: wide range cassette 1x "XX1 style" vs. electronic

I guess these are the two biggest recent drivetrain innovations.  I have both-  my thoughts...

My wide range cassette bike build is my new fatbike with a shimano 11-36 cassette converted to 11-42 with a WC Giant Cog.  I'm running SRAM X9 type 2 derailleur and X0 grip shift (which I also run with a more traditional double on my 'race' 29er).  The quality of the shifting is great.  It doesn't care if it gets muddy or covered in snow.  The wide range does provide me with enough of a range with a 34t front ring to do most any type of offroad riding.  I am not tempted to convert my 2x10 race bike to the same type of setup, not even in the least.  For mountain bike racing at any level or distance I would prefer a double.  The XX front derailleur on my 29er shifts very well and it is so effective to dump "many" gears with just one shift.  I also do use a wider range than 1x10 or 1x11 currently offers on a fairly consistent basis. The weight savings from the 1x are nice, but not worth what you lose.

My electronic setups are 10 speed shimano ultegra on my road bike and my 'gravel' CX bike.  I don't think I'll ever be able to go fully back to cable actuated shifting.  I want electronic on my mountain bike, my fatbike and my beach cruiser if it had gears.  Riding up to the base of a hill and essentially simultaneously shifting the front down and the rear three to the right without even thinking is basically sublime.

The electronic I'm running is also surprisingly cheap.  I was able to put together add-on kits (using my existing cranksets and brakes) for just about $650 a bike.  

The currently available wide range stuff is incredibly expensive.

As soon as I figure out a reasonably priced way to get long cages on electronic rear derailleurs I will be hacking together a mountain bike kit with custom push button shifters.  I have been dreaming about electronic shifting.


Road riding and ski season: Riley's first time skiing

It finally warmed up enough for babies to ski and for this guy to ride the road bike.  I got in 60 miles Saturday with friends on a nice ride out to Elgin.  Another 55 or 60? Sunday riding back from my Parent's in Red Wing via Lake City.  Sunday was particularly not warm as there was a 10-20 mph headwind the entire way.  Anyways, it was fun.  Electronic shifting is awesome.  Bikes are fun.

Skiing actually really sucked conditions wise, but the bunny hill was great!  Thanks to Pierce Skate and Ski/Bart for getting us the mini equipment!



The Great Pasty Chase

Info here

Three days of adventure out of Wolverine Village.  The best rides of my life have been up here and it is time to share.

The final routes are not now finalized.  Expect to spend Saturday 'out' on our bikes, making our own dinner and sleeping arrangements along the route.  Expect to ride 130-180 miles Saturday and Sunday.  We will return to Wolverine on Sunday evening and go out for dinner in Ironwood.  Monday will be a day for packrafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and exploring.

Overall-  the vibe will be one of hanging out and exploring.  We will pool our resources and skills, dirtbag style.

Here are a few images to get you started on what this will be about.

You can email me if you want or get ahold of me on facebook

For extra credit you might want to look through my old blogs at rideonpurpose.blogspot.com with regards to riding in this area ("gorge", "epic", "wolverine village").


I know I've stopped posting- here is why.

This is where I was at by the end of November and early December.

Here is the list of symptoms that have been strongly present since late September.

1.  weakness and fatigue.  I was winning bike races and riding 14-16 hours a week.  Now able to do zero exercise.  Sleeping 3-4 hours longer than previously if not woken up.  Find myself getting out of breath doing simple things like walking around.  My 10 mile bike commute to downtown is totally out of the question.

2.  Bowel issues-  not always diarrhea.  These symptoms are varied.  Generally stomach gets more and more upset as each day goes on.  90% of the time any meal prompts a bowel movement 20-60 minutes after.  On bad days sometimes will have 2-4 bowel movements after lunch and after dinner.  I have kept a food journal (actually have for most of last 3 years) and there does not seem to be much rhyme or reason.  Bowel movements range from almost pure water to a normal consistency.  They are never normal colored-  for a while they were very dark brown, then grey or light tan, recently a dark forest green.

3.  Aching back. It could be because of tightness in my stomach, maybe not?

4.  Exercise induced acid reflux?  Never realized I had this but prilosec and tums taken before exercise do seem to alleviate part of my symptoms (currently just leaving my achy and fatigued, where previously I felt even worse while exercising.  Previous symptoms included burning throat, aching that I thought came from glads under jaw, headaches).

5.  Minor weight loss.  The doctors don't think this is a big deal because it's only a couple of lbs.  I think it is because during the same time period I've also stopped riding a bike 14-16 hours a week and not watched my diet much.  My appetite has generally been good throughout but I have noticed that I feel full sooner than expected.  Often I'm hungry again relatively soon.  I've been snacking throughout the day more than eating in order to try to tame a lot of these symptoms and that has had mixed results.

I have also noticed other issues that may be related

1.  Difficulty sleeping.  Once awakened during the night my heart seems to race.  Feel panicky.  Can take over an hour to control this and get back to sleep.

2.  My beard is thinner (my hair has always been thinning).

3.  Knee pain has increased despite relative lack of use.  My left knee cap doesn't track right and there is some damage to cartilage in there.  This has flared up despite minimal use.

4. On a couple of occasions I have felt dizzy, foggy in the head etc.. pukey with no real reason.  I did have these symptoms very heavily one day where I was forced to leave work and go to bed around 8pm due to their severity but I think that was due to improperly washed quinoa (which I know sounds weird).

5.  Multiple cold sores.  I do not have a history of having cold sores.

6.  Sexual performance/drive is down (this correlates strongly with the days/weeks when I have worst stomach symptoms)

On a longer time line I've had these issues which may not be related

1.  Heat sensitivity.  Over the last 3 years I've gotten progressively less able to function athletically in warm weather.  I become fatigued easily, develop a terrible headach and basically shut down.  I am unable to keep up with the overall field in bike races, where in cooler weather against the same fields I win or podium.  Initially these symptoms only showed themselves in longer events with very high temperatures and humidity.  Last summer I had trouble even in the 80-85 degree temperature range.  I have basically quit mountain biking and reduced my road racing schedule due to this since most of those races are contested at such temperatures in the midwest.

2.  A sometimes painful bump between my anus and tail bone has developed along with fairly constant anal itching.  This has come and gone to a degree for 2 full years.  

Medical history this year-

I felt very strong this year until the middle of June when the temperature started to go up.  In July I was unable to finish any of the road races I entered due to heat symptoms.  Eventually I went in to the doctor and was given an antibiotic which seemed to help and I was able to train and race reasonably well late in August and the first 3 weeks of September.  I won a couple of races and had a good showing at a big CX race in Madison.

Starting in the final week of September things have just fallen apart.  At first I didn't see the pattern and just tried to rest more and skip some workouts.  Eventually I realized something real was going on as the bowel movements started to increase more and more.  In many of my cyclocross races I was only able to ride 5-10 minutes.  I had a hard time riding at all during the week.

I went to the doctor (Dr. Podein) at the end of October in Lake City.  I was given a general blood test, tested for mononucleosis etc. and then referred to a specialist here at Mayo. 

Dr. Nehra here at mayo met with me and then recommended a flexible sigmoidoscopy.  This found nothing.  I tried to press her for more information and more testing but got no where.  I used the internet to determine that all she had ruled out was ulcerative colitis?  Never did she tell me what she was testing me for or what I should be worried about.  I did not feel she took me seriously.  While there I had her check out the bump thing by my tail bone and she said it looked like a scratched pimple.  She also had no concern about the cold sores.  At that point I was sort of freaking out because I was (and am) afraid that I have crohn's and that those could be part of the larger picture.

I went back to Dr. Podein having exhausted my options with the specialist.  He ordered another general blood test and checked my thyroid levels.  Everything looked normal.  He was out of ideas and suggested I try omeprazole for two weeks.  

After ten days on 20mg of omeprazole each morning I felt about the same and came in last Monday to see a doctor Addissie in Rochester (Dr. Podein has left Lake City for a new job in Madison).  I explained my symptoms to him and he decided to perform an EBD.  I got the next available appointment and that procedure took place on Tuesday.  I expected results in 24-48 hours per the piece of paper that I was given.  I had heard nothing this morning so I called the appointment line and was told that Dr. Addissie was both in the office today and had received my results (but that the person on the phone couldn't tell me anything more).  She offered to send him a note to remind him to contact me.  At 3:30 today I still hadn't heard anything and I called again.  The conversation was an exact repeat of the 10am conversation and the results were the same.  

Now I have to wait until Monday for results and am finding that very stressful.  This weekend is also the state cyclocross championships which one of my main goals all year cycling wise besides the actual national championships next month.  I'm going crazy here.

Other notes-

I've been taking various probiotics throughout this time period as well as eating tons of yogurt

Immodium keeps me from having a bowel movement for a while but I haven't been taking it because my stomach still hurts and that just makes it hurt longer (no relief by pooping it out).

I stopped taking the Omeprazole and saw Dr. Addissie multiple additional times.  He even tested my heart (seriously-  if this had been my heart deteriorating that fast I would have been dead in a hurry!) with echocardiogram, event monitor and an exercise test. 

At that point I was told I could not get a referral to see Endocrinology (where a friend had talked to a doctor who had agreed to see me).  I realize that might have been a shot in the dark, but instead they told me to give it 6 weeks....  sent me on my way.

I know that is super long and all and probably not interesting for anyone to read.  For a while there I was searching for non-medical reasons as to what was going on.  Was I doing too much?  Was I not sleeping enough?  Did I just suck?  In the end none of those things really fit.  

I keep a lot of information about what I eat, when I sleep, how much and how hard I ride etc..  Some of my competitors/friends wanted to say I was overtrained (maybe they were even trying to be helpful) but I think that says more about them and their wanting to beat me/be stronger than me than anything else when I look at the data.

Anyways, I did start to feel better a bit and was able to ride about 11 hours a week on average for the last 8 or 9 weeks.  I felt I was getting stronger and I lost a bit of the weight I had put on while doing nothing.  Things were looking up.  Triple D didn't go as planned, but I had felt strong until dropping due to knee pain.  I was excited for the coming season.  I rode 80+ miles on the fatbike pretty strongly one day.  Was starting to feel strong when riding with my normal friends and riding partners.  I was still only riding about 10 hours a week, trying not to push it too much (and it's been sooooo cold).

Then over the course of the last 2-3 weeks the stomach symptoms have crept back.  I was dead beyond all reasonable belief at CIRREM.  Dropped by mile 12.  Nothing like the fitness I thought I was showing just 2 or 3 weeks ago.  In fact, less fitness than I would have expected to have if I had broken my leg the day after the Filthy 50 and literally not ridden a bike since.  

I made a new appointment to see the doctors here at Mayo.  This time with a new individual doctor.  I had become very frustrated with the fact that Dr. Addissie never responded with my test results in a timely manner during the late fall.  I had even requested to see another doctor once at the time, but when I showed up the appointment had been switched to see him.

At my appointment on Monday I explained the situation and why I was back.  We looked over my previous testing etc.. and then he started asking questions about my mental health.  Was I depressed, anxiety etc..  drug use?  alcohol problems?  It seemed he really wanted to give me some sort of depression drug?  Finally, he went and consulted with some other doctors and decided to rerun some of the same blood tests previously done and gave me a pamphlet on IBS and an appointment with a dietician.

I am losing it.  Doubting myself about everything now.  It's been so long since I've been able to compete or even to finish a bike race.  I know I shouldn't doubt that I'm actually sick here at this point and that there has to be something, but when I talk to the doctors I feel literally insane.  They don't seem to believe anything I say.  I know I don't look like the fittest guy in the world, nor am I the fastest but I was pretty fast last year before this all started, wasn't I?  I'm worried that I don't look fit enough for them to take seriously.  I'm worried they just don't even want to deal with it as it's become "difficult" (the doctor actually said "you've become difficult" to me on Monday).  I'm worried they just want to wear me out and have me go on my way.  What a mess to potentially have all these things there are no answers for, or not to have them.  Or not to really even know if I have them and just to question myself.

I'll share more as I find out, it's been hard to figure out how to.  I know this is disjointed and random, but I feel better having written it out.


Cannondale Khione Carbon Fatbike- 29er to Fat Conversion

There has been more information and will be further updates on this and all my other carbon fiber work at on facebook here and also on my website here.

Khione is the greek goddess of snow and yet, somehow, no one has given that most obvious name to a fatbike. My goal for this project is to showcase my carbon repair and customization business and to suggest that Cannondale considers entering the fatbike market. It's surprising Cannondale hasn't already entered this market. Actually, not just "entered" the market but built something up to the standard of their incredible mountain bikes. Many of the new entries in the fatbike segment have copy-cat, boring, middle of the road geometry and design. They seem to be coming out of the same mold from Asia.

The evolution of fatbikes has been an amazing and rapid process. Two years ago I combined a heavy, steel, Surly Pugsley rear triangle with a Colnago C40, threw some older, durable parts on it and thought it was pretty great. Things have evolved, more fat specific parts have become available and fatbike races have popped up everywhere. Fatbiking used to be all about snowmobile trails and riding on lakes but more and more the opportunity to ride and race real singletrack has become available. It became clear it was time to build a new bike to better take advantage of those opportunities.

This frame is a 2010 Flash Carbon in medium which was in rough shape. I repaired 3 stays and raced it for a season or so then it was shelved in favor of a 2012 Flash carbon EVO. In order to become fat the entire rear triangle of the frame was removed. A Paragon Frameworks Ti bottom bracket shell was fit through the stock BB30 interface. The stays were individually constructed. Due to my desire to use a 135mm offset rear end, and stay away from super costly hubs of dubious cost vs. reliability ratio, this made for a good amount of fabrication. Finally, the stays, seat cluster and bottom bracket area were all integrated. The frame weight is 1545 g with derailleur hanger, seatpost clamp and headset bearings/1 ⅛” adaptor in place. I love the handling characteristics of the stock Flash. The only major change to the geometry was a 1” lengthening of the rear end. The front has been pushed up a bit with the slightly longer fork but I will be able to run a lefty with virtually dead-on stock geometry when desired.

The current fork is a Carver O’Beast. I built my own fat fork for my previous bike, but can’t beat the O’Beast in quality so going with it when rigid. With the steerer cut I’m right around 2100g for the total, ready to build, frameset. Maybe not crazy, but it’s in line with the high end frames out there and I might have saved a bit with the 135mm hub.

Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles built both of my current wheelsets using vintage Coda branded DT Swiss hubs laced to Surly Marge Lite and Rolling Darryl rims with DT spokes and brass nipples. The Rolling Darryl’s are pictured on the bike with 26x4.0 Husker Du tires. The rest of the build consists mainly of a ‘poor man’s XX1 group’ with an X0 gripshifter, X9 type 2 rear derailleur, 11-36 shimano cassette and 34t narrow/wide chainring on E13 cranks. Brakes are the absolutely awesome Shimano SLX 675. A 42t add-on cassette cog is also on it’s way. The cockpit parts are a Ritchey mix other than a carbon specialized saddle that has been repaired and recovered.

I’ve ridden about 150 miles now and can’t wait for more. Hope Cannondale or any other new players in the fatbike market come out with their own bikes with similarly aggressive geometry. I would also hope others will see that old frames can be repurposed in order to extend their usefulness.

Lastly, after the snow melts I will be switching to a lefty for the summer. No surprise there. The interesting part will be the 29 x 75mm carbon rims I plan to use. Can’t say much more about that yet as I’ve only just begun the rim construction, but follow over the next couple months if you are interested.


Mountain Bike Action and my new build...

Kind of a surreal thing to see.  The bike is actually much further along now, but holding onto the pictures and information for now...


Stomach Flu

Riley had it early last week, Kim later in the week. My turn, laid up big time Saturday into Sunday.  No fun at all since it was family Christmas over in Wisconsin.  Putting me off my plan for riding, still feel like I'm in a bit of a fog!  Did get out for a hike last night through gamehaven to check out the uber cold, wish I'd brought my bike, but my hiking partner can't stay on the straight and narrow of winter singletrack real hot.

So, I had committed to 50 hours on the fatbike before Triple D and I'm admittedly almost there.  Partly, I'm ahead of the game because there is a whole extra week before Triple D than I'd thought when I made that plan (shows how loose my plans are, I guess).  I guess I'll have no problem getting that 50 in, probably more.

The question though...  do laid up with flu sick days count as rest?


Why I don't mind having a 10+ mile commute

I was previously wrong to say fatbikes aren't ideal for commuting.  I stand by the fact that my 700x42 nokians are better in the slushy mix left behind by cars, but I was also clearly wrong and it's obvious to me now.

I work in the tallest building WAY down there in some of those pictures.

This commute won't suck in the summer either.


2013 Untitled Information! March 1st and 2nd

A Free Viking Style Gran Fondo

Riding from Fat Willy's at 9 am each day.  Routes are as below:

Day 1: This is a link as well  food/rest potential at mile 27 (Chatfield), 49 (Dover Road Trip bar and grille), 56 (Kwik Trip) and Fat Willy's at 71. I'm thinking gas station at 27, soup at 49 Many ways to shortcut home if needed. This has some real climbing in the middle. 

Day 2:  Link   Bombing through the city for first 10 or so, THE HUDDLE at mile 39ish, Kwik Trip in Eyota at 52, Fat Willy's at the end. I plan on lunch at Huddle, Lunch at Fat Willy's.

Hope to see you.  There are some spots left to stay at my house overnight Saturday.  I'm assuming many will make one day or the other.  Locals feel free to meet up en route or cut off early etc..


Total lack of fun means no blog posts

As most of you know I've been sick.

I had some nasty symptoms and some nagging symptoms.  I wasn't able to ride much for a really long time. I couldn't even ride to work, but was still trying to race cyclocross.  I would get a ride to work from Kim with my bike on the roof and just hope that after work I'd feel well enough to ride it home...  but then be forced to call for a ride after spending hours on the toilet.  And this all took place right in the middle of my favorite part of my racing calendar.  Over the last two months I've been tested for everything from a thyroid disorder to ulcerative colitis to HIV.  They tested my heart.  I told them that if my heart was degenerating fast enough that it could explain my symptoms that they may as well not test it, that I was going to die...  they insisted.

They never found anything.  At this point I'm done with it.  I've said that a through times throughout this process.  Tried to flip a switch mentally and just GET BETTER, but this time I am done.  My stomach has calmed down to a great degree.  I've been able to ride the last two days with a more or less linear relationship between my effort level and how my body feels.

Expect more blog posts.